The X Chromosome Is Silenced in Some Male Cancers

Cancer cells acquire genetic anomalies that allow them to grow and proliferate unchecked. Researchers have now found another difference between cancer cells and normal cells: the X chromosome, typically only inactivated in XX female cells, can be inactivated across different male-derived cancers. This work was published November 9, 2022 in Cell Systems. The open-access article is titled “Somatic XIST Activation and Features of X Chromosome Inactivation in Male Human Cancers. “To balance the expression of genes between the sexes, in normal development, one copy of the female X chromosome is inactivated at random across the human body. We wanted to know if this process that occurs in normal development goes awry in genetically unstable male or female cancer cells,” says senior author Srinivas Viswanathan (@srviswanathan), MD, PhD, a cancer geneticist and medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Bostom.

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